3rd annual Cape Fear Craft Beer Week highlights growing industry


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It seems like a new brewery opens in our area every other month. As the industry continues to grow, events like Cape Fear Craft Beer Week help bring attention to what our area has to offer.

Things kicked off Friday with the third annual Ultimate Brewing Championship. Breweries from New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties faced off for the championship belt WWE style in a blind taste test competition.

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“Each of our brewers selected two local North Carolina ingredients that were paired together, and they had to brew a beer with those local ingredients,” said Ellie Craig, Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance marketing committee chair.

Craig is also the manager of Front Street Brewery. She says this week shows just how big the craft beer scene has become in the Wilmington region.

“We’ve been in business for almost 25 years now. Starting in 2014 we had a couple breweries open up, and now we’re celebrating 20 breweries being in our region,” said Craig.

And others agree.

“We’re growing as fast as we possibly can. It’s good to be on the map as far as, you’ve got Raleigh, Asheville, and Charlotte, and Wilmington’s starting to make a name for themselves,” said Bill’s Front Porch co-owner Donnie Stone.

“That was one of the main reasons that the owners of Skytown moved down here, because it was a growing area. So I think Wilmington has a lot of potential for more,” said Skytown Beer Company brewer Ben Quinones.

“The fact that it was a sold out event tonight is definitely going to help everybody in the industry, everyone in Wilmington. And then hopefully over time we might have more tourism for this week especially,” said Wilmington Brewing Company co-owner John Savard.

Wilmington Brewing Company opened five years ago and has been growing ever since. Savard says although it can be a competitive industry, Cape Fear breweries support one another.

“It’s not about winning. It’s just the comradery, and definitely the Craft Beer Week growth, and Wilmington industry, and Wilmington beer,” said Savard.

Cape Fear Craft Beer Week activities will continue all week long. Click here for a full list of events.